Enote – U.S. Census Bureau

You know how, after you bang your thumb with a hammer, you realize anew how often you need your thumb? Holding a pen, zipping a jacket, typing an email, all of which you’d been doing without thanking your thumb, suddenly become painful or impossible.

That happened with a lot of Americans during the recent five-week-long government partial shutdown, as we realized anew just how many things the US federal government does, and what it would mean to have it cut off. As the ripple effects spread, even those who don’t work for the federal government were forced into a nationwide civics lesson.

One of my own personal banged-thumb moments came last week when I tried to access some data at the US Census Bureau site. I do this regularly, to keep the basis of my training, research and publications about people moving into and out of the US up to date and reliable: how many Americans go to college, how are public schools funded, what fraction of the US population were born in another country and how has that changed over time – that kind of thing.

But last week, in my research, I found this notice at the top of the Census Bureau page: “Due to a lapse in federal funding this website is not being updated.”

Now, this thumb injury is minor and temporary, but it reminded me of how dependent we are, as a country, on reliable, trustworthy, non-partisan data that tracks change over time.* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention track influenza, Ebola, food poisoning and obesity. Combined historic data from the National Weather Service, Department of Agriculture and Department of the Interior help farmers plan when to plant, fertilize and harvest. The Census Bureau’s data are the basis of Congressional district allocations. There are hundreds of government agencies collecting data that are used in important ways. We need these data sources to remain untainted, well supported, and available.

I’ve put a few links in the sidebars to help you explore these data sources even if you aren’t a data nerd like me. Try it; you’ll like it!

Anne P.S. What I was working on was the slides for my Crossing Cultures with Competence training of trainers course. Because I’ve now successfully updated them, you don’t have to! Join me for the next workshop – March 25-26, 2019, in Boston, MA. Details below.

*For a powerful, compelling, highly-readable look at government agencies and how important it is to keep their data collection non-partisan, read Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk.

American FactFinder is a good way to begin your exploration of government surveys about the US population. Enter your zipcode under “Community Facts” and see your local data from many different data sources. https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

If you like your government statistics in tiny fun packages, try following USAFacts on Twitter. Or go in depth at usafacts.org where they share data from 70+ government sources. Non-partisan, non-edited.

The US Census Bureau alone conducts 100 surveys – here’s a list of them: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/surveys-programs.html Need to know how school systems spend their money? where Americans buy things? how many people made visits to doctors’ offices? how much time men vs women spend in child care? OK, YOU may not need to know these things, but the people who make our policies and write our laws and regulations do. Consider the alternative….


Author picture

About us

The work of understanding others and helping others understand us is our mission. 

We design and deliver specialized cross-cultural training workshops, train and consult to professionals in the field, conduct research on the process of intercultural transition, produce publications to assist newcomers to the US.

The Interchange Institute is a not-for-profit research organization established in 1997 by Dr. Anne P. Copeland. The work of smoothing intercultural transitions has never been so critical.

Recent Posts

Dr. Tasha Arnold is an experienced leader and researcher in the field of education specializing in cross-cultural training, transition support, and program development for schools, universities, and global teams. She co-founded The Academic Achievement Bureau where she worked with international schools and universities conducting research on their organization and providing services to aid intercultural understanding, transition adjustment, and student achievement. She is currently the Executive Director of The Interchange Institute, a NEASC and CIS school accreditor, and serves on the board of The Namibia Project.  

Sample Questions:

  • I’m interested in working with international schools, universities, NGO’s, and not-for-profit organizations – How should I get started and who do I contact?
  • How do I promote and market my services as an intercultural trainer?
  • What are some tips and tricks for working with multicultural and global teams?
  • How do I write a proposal that stands out from the competition?

Terri McGinnis, M.S.

Senior Trainer​

Terri is an independent cross-cultural trainer specializing in helping families moving overseas, assisting those coming from overseas to live and work in the U.S., and providing group business briefings on China, Brazil and USA. Terri has worked with large automotive companies, automotive suppliers, oil companies, national office supply and furniture companies, the construction industry, electronic companies, IT companies, chemical companies, not to mention many other national and international companies.

A well-read and traveled individual, Terri has lived in and navigated different cultures successfully. Ms. McGinnis lived with her family as an expatriate in Beijing, China. In China, she conducted cross-cultural training programs, studied Mandarin, worked for the International School of Beijing providing classes to their staff, and provided Pilates training to individuals in the expatriate community of Beijing.

In addition to her overseas experience in China, Ms. McGinnis also lived with her family as an expatriate in Brazil for three years where she studied Portuguese. In addition to her language studies, she worked for Fiske School teaching English as a second language to Brazilian nationals. While in Brazil, the International School of Curitiba engaged her services for curriculum and staff development.

Prior to her international assignments, Ms. McGinnis was a high school teacher teaching vocational business skills. She also has eight years of experience in the automotive industry working in various HR positions.

Ms. McGinnis graduated with a Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

Her experiences in Brazil and China have taught her to appreciate the world’s diversity and to cross cultures successfully. Her hobbies are reading, sea kayaking, paddle boarding and travel. She has two daughters attending university. She actively volunteers for her a local national club swim team.

alt="Tasha Arnold Executive Director of The Interchange Institute"

Tasha Arnold, Ed.D.

Executive Director

Dr. Tasha Arnold is an experienced leader and researcher in the field of education specializing in cross-cultural training and development for schools, universities, and multicultural teams. As the Executive Director of The Interchange Institute (TII), Tasha is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of TII, while also serving as an evaluator for the Intercultural Training Expertise Certification (ITEC) Board and being actively involved in the training of emerging and experienced interculturalists through the Crossing Cultures with Competence Train the Trainer program.

Tasha is a certified teacher and principal/head of school and accredits schools worldwide with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and Council for International Schools.

Prior to her work at the Interchange Institute, Tasha held positions in both public and private schools and co-founded The Academic Achievement Bureau where she worked with international schools and universities conducting research on their organization and provided services to aid intercultural understanding, transition adjustment, and student and staff well-being.

Tasha has directed several research studies in the UK and Qatar on educators’ experiences and perceived needs with regards to transition at their international school in order to improve the transition experience for educators, students and families in these cultural contexts. These findings have helped her to develop and deliver school-wide transition and intercultural development programs.

Originally from the USA, Tasha relocated in 2011 to the UK and currently resides with her husband near London. She serves on the board of The Namibia Project Charity.

Anne P. Copeland, Ph.D.

Founder of The Interchange Institute

Dr. Copeland is a clinical psychologist with expertise in family and cultural transition. During her tenure as Executive Director of The Interchange Institute, she provided cross-cultural training for individuals and families moving to and from the United States. She also trained almost 500 interculturalists around the world to deliver tailored, individualized cross-cultural orientation programs through the Crossing Cultures with Competence program that she developed.

Dr. Copeland has written several books on families and transition (Studying Families, Sage 1991, Separating Together 1997, and In Their Own Voice 2011), and has authored over 90 research articles, chapters, and professional presentations.

Prior to founding The Interchange Institute in 1997, Dr. Copeland was Associate Professor of Psychology at Boston University, where she conducted research and research supervision in psychological aspects of family process assessment, ethnicity, cultural influences, immigration, development, developmental disabilities and affective development. During her tenure at the University, she relocated with her family to work in London in 1988, where she was the academic advisor for Boston University’s British Programmes.

Dr. Copeland has directed many research studies on expatriate families’ experience, including multinational in-depth analyses of the social, familial, and personal aspects of moving to a new country, including a focus on the personal and family side of international short-term assignments, the role of one’s home – its design and layout – on one’s expatriate experience, on the challenges of moving to a country that is perceived as very similar, the experiences of high school exchange host families, and the ways in which having experienced being different as a child has an impact on the expatriate experience. Recent work focuses on how interculturalists have built and nurtured their careers.

Dr. Copeland lives with her husband in Boston, MA, and Barters Island, ME.